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Science: Natural Science

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Tikvah Alper

Tikvah Alper

Tikvah Alper was an outstanding radiobiologist who had to overcome many obstacles in her personal and professional life.

Ruth Arnon

Ruth Arnon

One of Israel’s foremost scientists and immunologists, Professor Ruth Arnon is the incumbent of the Paul Ehrlich Chair in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.

Charlotte Auerbach

Charlotte Auerbach, ‘Lotte’ to her friends all over the world, was known above all for her discovery in 1941 that gene mutations can be artificially induced by treatment of Drosophila flies with a chemical substance, mustard gas. Later she became renowned for her profound knowledge of classical genetics and especially of mutation.

Elisheva Barak-Ussoskin

Elisheva Barak-Ussoskin

The decisions of Judge Barak-Ussoskin, who is known for her extraordinary patience and excellent judicial spirit, are outstanding for their innovative character, thoroughness, well-argued and scholarly reasoning based on national as well as international and theoretical experience, and for the stress they lay on human rights in the sphere of labor and employment. Her rulings undoubtedly have a critical influence on the development of labor law and labor relations in Israel.

Sarah Bavly

Sarah Bavly

Dutch-born Sarah Bavly was a pioneer nutritionist in the Yishuv who laid the groundwork for Israel's nutritional infrastructure and educational programming, directing Hadassah's hospital nutrition departments and school lunch programs, and establishing the State's first College of Nutrition.

Raissa L’vovna Berg

Raissa Berg is an outstanding biologist and geneticist of international repute, a defender of human rights in the Soviet Union, an abstract painter and a writer.

Yehudith Birk

Yehudith Birk

A 1998 Israel Prize laureate for agricultural research, Professor Yehudith Birk of the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture in Rehovot is an internationally renowned biochemist.

Batsheva Bonne-Tamir

Batsheva Bonne-Tamir

For more than four decades geneticist Batsheva Bonne-Tamir has studied genetic markers and diseases among different population groups in Israel.

Yara Bernette (Bernette Epstein)

Brazil, Contemporary

The Brazilian Jewish community is the second largest Jewish community in South America and one of the ten largest in the world.

Varvara Alexandrovna Brilliant-Lerman

Varvara Brilliant-Lerman was a well-known plant physiologist in Russia. Her main works were devoted to the physiology of photosynthesis.

May Brodbeck

May Brodbeck was among the foremost American-born philosophers of science.

Edith Bülbring

Edith Bülbring

Edith Bülbring’s contributions to smooth-muscle physiology and pharmacology were immense.

Mildred Cohn

Mildred Cohn

Biochemist Mildred Cohn used new technology to measure organic reactions in living cells. She not only breached new frontiers in atomic chemistry, but also did so by breaking through barriers as a woman and a Jew in a male- and Christian-dominated field
Dr. Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori and Carl Ferdinand Cori in the Lab

Gerty Theresa Cori

In the radio series This I Believe, Gerty Cori, the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel prize, which she shared with her husband and lifelong collaborator, Carl Cori (1896–1984) in 1947, stated, “Honesty, which stands mostly for intellectual integrity, courage and kindness are still the virtues I admire, though with advancing years the emphasis has been slightly shifted and kindness seem more important to me than in my youth. The love for and dedication to one’s work seem to me to be the basis for happiness.”

Tilly Edinger

Tilly Edinger

Tilly Edinger made her mark as one of the leading vertebrate paleontologists of the twentieth century. Her pioneering work in paleoneurology, the study of fossil brains, established her international reputation as the outstanding woman in her field.

Gertrude Elion, 1988

Gertrude Elion

Gertrude Elion’s biochemistry work revolutionized the ways drugs are developed. She received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine even though she never earned her PhD. Her career paved the way for chemotherapy, organ transplantation, anti-viral medications, and AIDS treatment.
Naomi Feinbrun

Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan

Botanist Naomi Feinbrun-Dothan was one of the first and rare women who became part of the academic staff at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the days when very few women had scientific careers, not only locally but also worldwide. For more than six decades she studied the flora of Israel and published dozens of articles and several analytical flora books. At the age of ninety-one she received the 1991 Israel Prize for her unique contribution to Land of Israel studies.

Rosalind Elsie Franklin

Rosalind Elsie Franklin

Although best known for being the British physical chemist whose crucial experimental data enabled James Watson and Frances Crick to solve the structure of DNA as early as 1953, she received no gracious mention from either of them during their Nobel Prize speeches.

Charlotte Friend

Cell biologist and immunologist Charlotte Friend made major contributions to our understanding of cancer and its causes.

Elisabeth Goldschmidt

Elisabeth Goldschmidt

Elisabeth Goldschmidt was the founder of genetic studies as a research and teaching discipline at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Clara Heyn

Clara Heyn

Botanist Chaia Clara Heyn was born on June 13, 1924, in Cluj (Transylvania), Romania, to Paul-Pinchas (1889–1948) and Sima (née Grünfeld, 1895–1990) Blau, who also had a son, Jehoshua. Theirs was an affluent Jewish family. Paul Blau had a doctorate in international relations and worked as a journalist and businessman, while Sima was a homemaker. In 1931 the family moved to Baden, Austria, relocating to Vienna in 1937. One year later, in response to the Anschluss, the Blaus immigrated to Mandatory Palestine.

Rahel Hirsch

Physiologist, physician and teacher, Rahel Hirsch was the granddaughter of Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808–1888), the founder and spiritual leader of neo-Orthodoxy and one of the major rabbinical figures of the nineteenth century. Born in Frankfurt am Main on September 15, 1870, one of the eleven children of Dr. Mendel Hirsch, Rahel grew up in a cultured, Jewishly knowledgeable family. Her father, who was the principal of the Jewish community’s Realschule and a leading figure in the strictly Orthodox Jewish community, ensured that she receive good schooling by sending her to a girls’ school in her native city. Since women were not yet admitted to German universities, Rahel went to the teachers’ seminary in Wiesbaden, where she received her teaching certificate in May 1889. For want of any alternative, she taught until 1898, but since she longed to be a physician she went to Zürich, where women had been admitted to medical school since 1840. However, when German universities followed suit, she returned, studying first in Leipzig and later, from November 1900, in Strassburg. Here she passed the state examination in July 1903, wrote her dissertation on the impact of glucose and was immediately licensed as a physician.

Ida Henrietta Hyde

Physiologist Ida Henrietta Hyde’s proudest accomplishment wasn’t her pioneering research—it was her work on behalf of other women scientists. In 1896, she conducted research at the Zoological Station in Naples, Italy, after completing her Ph.D. in Heidelberg, Germany. The next year, she persuaded America’s foremost women educators and philanthropists to make this opportunity available to other American women scientists. The group she founded was known as the Naples Table Association for Promoting Scientific Research by Women. Using a subscription system, the group raised five hundred dollars annually to fund a research “table,” actually a small laboratory, where thirty-six American women in all benefited from Hyde’s vision.

Libbie Henrietta Hyman, 1941

Libbie Henrietta Hyman

In 1960, zoologist Libbie Hyman explained her work: “I like invertebrates. I don’t mean worms particularly, although a worm can be almost anything, including the larva of a beautiful butterfly. But I do like the soft delicate ones, the jellyfishes and corals and the beautiful microscopic organisms.” Hyman transformed her love of the soft creatures to writings that brought her international recognition as an expert on invertebrates and as the world authority on flatworms.

Clara Immerwahr

Clara Immerwahr

Clara Immerwahr was born on June 21, 1870 on the Polkendorff Farm near Breslau, where she grew up together with her three older siblings, Elli, Rose and Paul, in a wealthy, highly-cultured, open and liberal family, which wore its Jewishness lightly. Her father, Philipp Immerwahr, had studied chemistry and sought to establish a factory, but when this enterprise failed he turned to Polkendoff, where his farming skills and inventive spirit combined to make him wealthy. He married his cousin Anne, née Korn. The family regularly spent the winter months in Breslau, where Philipp’s mother owned a large store selling clothes and dress materials.

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